Submitted by: Brian Farragher, COO, ANDRUS
I am sitting on United Flight UA6 on my way back from Singapore after spending two weeks on the other side of the world.
A little girl, about 18 months old is sitting, standing, flipping and doing head stands in the seat in front of me. She periodically sticks her head between the seats and offers me her bobo. Another little girl about 2 years old has just walked by my seat for the 5th or 6th time. She seems to be doing laps around this fairly large plane. I am not sure where these kids are going or where they call home.
While in Singapore, I walked through quite a few shopping malls (walking in malls is a national past time in Singapore). In doing so I got to observe a whole bunch of little people racing around, screaming and yelling, exploring and often just spinning in circles. Almost all the time I also saw parents and older siblings shadowing them, gently redirecting them, cuddling them, but ultimately letting them do what kids do, and seemingly taking great joy in watching these little ones learn and grow.
Sometimes, people who work in child welfare or children's mental health can forget that there are still really good things happening for most kids most of the time. Although we should not be satisfied until good things are happening for all kids most of the time.
I am returning from Singapore, where my colleague and I just finished two weeks of Sanctuary Training. The last slide in the training is the quote from Gandhi "Be the change you wish to see in the world". So on that spirit, I am vowing never to get irritated with a little child on a plane again. Besides, how can you get irritated with someone who offers to share her bobo with you?